Saturday, October 25, 2014

Interview With Carole Brown -- Author of With Music in Their Hearts

I’m happy to welcome Carole Brown, one of Stitches Thru Time’s contributors, to a Sit Down Saturday interview about her newest book due out in early November. Can you tell us a bit about your book, Carole?

Thank you so much, Catherine, for allowing me to share a bit about my writing.

With Music in Their Hearts is a WWII romantic (light) suspense; the first book of three, and each one about a red-headed sister, a spy, and their lives. It’s set during World War II, but this novel is about Tyrell and Emma Jaine’s romance and Tyrell serving as a spy in a way he didn’t anticipate or want. I captured the flavor of the period by the unique phrases and touches of radio programs, dress and events that I used.


Here’s a blurb about the book:

Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.

 He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.

As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?

Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?

Sounds interesting. Why did you choose a WWII setting?

My mother has always been a wonderful friend, listening and encouraging me. I loved seeing her pictures and hearing stories of when she was young. That period piqued my interest. I wanted to write something from that era. An elderly friend of ours wrote a small book about a young man serving as a civilian spy during that time. I took that thought and developed it into the plot in With Music in Their Hearts.

It’s such a romantic, beautiful time. Loyalty and sacrifice was all the rage. Men gallant in their military attire, women strong in their determination to fill their men’s shoes and letting their men go off to fight on foreign soil. Hats and square shoulders. Pleated skirts. Tons of songs about the war and love and fighting and winning. Close families. Early marriages. A world torn apart by greed but kept together by the thread of love and strength and courage.

A nostalgic time to look back upon.

Gotta love those hats and dresses. They’re so different from the clothes of today. Did you come across any interesting research while writing this book?

Oh, yes! I lived in Cincinnati for a short period, but it’s been awhile back. I wanted to brush up on buildings and the town during WWII. Here are a few tidbits of information I enjoyed, although I didn’t necessarily use all of them in the book:

Ÿ  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow dubbed Cincinnati the “Queen City of the west.”

Ÿ  Cincinnati was the first city in America to have a professional baseball team, then known as the Red Stockings, later renamed as the Reds.

Ÿ  In the late 1800's, William Proctor and James Gamble established the company known as Proctor and Gamble.

Do you have a favorite character in this book? Why?

I loved them all, even the bad ones. How often does that happen? The book was a delight to write and probably my easiest one to develop. Since I do love them all, I’ll pick out a secondary character who was fun to describe.

Gertrude (Gertie to her friends!) Hanover: a garrulous, always over-decked, speak-your-mind elderly lady boarding in the Rayner Boarding Home. She doesn’t mind showing her scorn of those filled with self-drama, but is loyal, sweet (in a round about way) to those she loves, and tough as nails when she has to be. She brought color and fun to the pages. I do hope she appears in book two and three! J

She sounds like a real character. I know you’ve written in a lot of different genres. Do you have one you like best?

Suspense with a touch of romance is ALWAYS my favorite. Most times all my stories carry some measure of suspense.

Ÿ  The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman was a women’s fiction but captured strong elements of both suspense and romance.

Ÿ  Hog Insane, the first book in the Denton and Alex Davies series, held mystery and suspense along with their romantic married situation.

Ÿ  With Music in Their Hearts carries a lighter suspense, but it’s there. The romance between Emma Jaine Rayner and Tyrell is strong and alive!

Probably anything I write will hold a certain bit of suspense or mystery since I grew up reading all the mysteries I could get my hands on. It’s flavored my life, interests and reading until it seems a real part of me.

I’ve read The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman and Hog Insane on my TBR pile. I bought it just because I loved the title!

Thanks for being with us today, Carole.

With Music in Their Hearts releases November 2014! Check out Carole’s personal links below to keep in touch for availability. Then look for it on Amazon and other online stores. Her Book Launch is scheduled for November 10 on facebook. Just type in “With Music in Their Hearts” and join in on the fun. Great prizes, games, and lots of contests will be featured!


Author Bio: Carole Brown not only has her award winning (Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but also a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.

November, 2013, the first book in her mystery series, Hog Insane, released. It’s a fun, lighthearted novel introducing the characters, Denton and Alex Davies.

Releasing November, 2014, is the first book in a new WWII romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with her here:

I also am part of several other blogs:

Barn Door Book Loft:


  1. Nice, Catherine. thanks so much!

  2. I enjoyed Carole's interview and look forward to reading With Music in Their Hearts. I love reading WWII era stories!

    1. Oh, I hope so, Britney! It's Emma Jaine and Tyrell's story and set during the beginning of WWII. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Enjoyed the interview. I have enjoyed Carole's other books and look forward to reading this one.

    Ann Ellison

    1. Ann, so hope you like the book! I love enthusiastic readers, and you're a great encourager!

  4. With Music In Their Hearts sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you !

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    1. Hope you enjoy it, Melanie! It's one of my favs that I've written. :) Thanks for commenting.